From Aging in Community to Age-friendly Community: Translating Applied Research into Practice

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Community-based Participatory Research, Qualitative Methods, Program Development


As the world’s population continues to grow older, many communities are seeking to enhance the experience of daily life via age-friendly approaches. This paper recounts the development of an age-friendly community that began with the findings from a study that sought to enhance aging with dignity and independence in a southeastern United States community in which one-third of the residents are age sixty-five or older. Findings revealed six “actionable” themes: (1) Meaningful Involvement; (2) Aging in Place; (3) Respect and Inclusion; (4) Communication and Information; (5) Transportation and Mobility; and (6) Health and Well-being. The findings were independently aligned with the World Health Organization’s eight domains of livability and served to propel efforts toward the creation of the global age-friendly community designation. Research approaches are explicated, and programmatic efforts aimed at enhancing practice change on both individual and organization levels are presented.

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The International Journal of Aging and Society, v. 6, issue 4, p. 59-71

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